The Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association has named its five inductees for 2018. Combined, the influence of these five men spans 150 years. This year’s inductees were chosen for the legacy each of their careers has left on the Ontario farm industry.
The inductees are:
William Harvey Beaty (1916-1994) Born in Halton Region, William Beaty was the founder and chairman of Cold Springs Farm Ltd., an enterprise that he started in 1949 in Thamesford on 100 acres of land. By the time of his passing, the business had grown to include 60 farms and 9,000 acres raising hogs, turkeys, chickens, beef cattle and crops along with a feed mill, grain elevators, processing plant, fertilizer plant and more. Beaty was involved with many agricultural organizations including the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Poultry Council, Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition, Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board and Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board among others. He was responsible for creating thousands of jobs in Ontario and innovating in the fields of product development, swine and poultry genetics and production quality. (Nominated by George P. Campbell).
Harvey John Graham (1935- ) Harvey Graham of Durham Region has spent his entire career working as an agricultural advocate locally, provincially, and nationally to ensure a sustainable future for the beef industry in both Ontario and Canada. He was a director and president of the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario), a director to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, helped to establish the Ontario Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program, was instrumental in establishing the Environmental Stewardship Award and relentlessly encouraged beef farmers to institute the latest management practices to enhance their herd health, marketing, accounting and the environment. He also helped to implement the national beef check-off program to fund work in support of the beef industry. (Nominated by Beef Farmers of Durham Region).
Barry (William) Hill (1943 – ) Barry Hill of Brant County has made significant contributions to agriculture in Ontario through his insightful leadership of organizations at the provincial level and the development of new initiatives for agriculture and economic sustainability within the First Nations Community. He was instrumental in the formation of the First Nations Agri Group Co-operative, designed to provide purchasing power for crops and livestock inputs, which was seen as a model for other First Nations communities across Canada. He was a board member and president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, a founding board member of the Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative for the production of ethanol and has provided his business expertise to over 400 businesses through the Two Rivers Community Development Centre. (Nominated by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association).
Gordon Clifford Leitch (1890-1954) Raised in Ridgetown, Gordon Leitch headed to western Canada as a young man to gain experience in the grain business, working first for the Manitoba Wheat Pool and then returning to Ontario to serve as manager of the Toronto branch of the Canadian Wheat Pool. He then went on to be general manager of the first elevator on the Toronto waterfront which ultimately grew into what is now known as Masterfeeds Inc. His contributions to Ontario agriculture are significant as they established the logistics network still used today by Canadian farmers to facilitate grain trade across the country and around the world. His vision and work created a complete grain handling system that supported the growth of Ontario farms and made Canada a recognized world leader in global agriculture. Nominated by Masterfeeds Inc.
James J. Morrison (1861- 1936) Known as the “father of the Ontario Farm Movement”, the late James Morrison was born on a farm south of Arthur. In 1914, Morrison helped to create the United Farmers of Ontario (UFO) on the grounds that farmers and rural Ontario needed to work together to achieve the goals of good business and living conditions. By 1919, the UFO had 50,000 members and won the Ontario election. While in power, the UFO made leading contributions to social legislation including a Mother’s Allowance Act, a Minimum Wage Act for Women, increased workers compensation benefits, increased rural electrification and the creation of the Province of Ontario Savings Office to lower lending rates to farmers. Morrison also helped to found the United Farmers’ Co-operative Company (now the Ontario Co-operative Association), and worked with the UFO to form the Ontario Chamber of Agriculture (now the Ontario Federation of Agriculture). He was an outstanding and precedent-setting leader in rural Ontario. (Nominated by Wellington County Historical Society).
The official induction ceremony will take place on June 10, 2018, at Country Heritage Park at Milton, Ont. Tickets are available through the Hall of Fame association’s website at www.oahf.on.ca.